|Elderberries near Castle Howard|
The next lot were picked on the verge of a track leading to the Yorkshire Arboretum. We were there to choose a tree for Julia in commemoration of a life lived well. I guessed, correctly, that there would be no elders in the Arboretum, on account of their prolific thuggishness, but was keen to involve Julia in this wine. There was only one suitable elder even leading up to it. While I was picking berries a Castle Howard gardener came through a gate and told me I needed the land-owner's permission for foraging. We then had a conversation about elder trees in general and elderberry wine in particular, and he allowed me to continue with barely a harumph.
My final set of elderberries came from trees close to home, mostly on the way to Meanwood. Stonegate Fields had too few, and I suspect this is my fault for over-picking elderflowers, but I found some good trees near Potternewton Lane.
With all my picking I ended up with 5 lbs 14 oz berries, and I judged this to be enough. Stripping them was made bearable by Radio 4 and the Dum Tee Dum podcast, and I eventually removed the juices staining my hands. (NB - If you click the link, and fast forward to 43:46, you will hear me ring in, and then a huge discussion of home-made wine. It is officially very funny. And then I appear right at the end at 57:00 - ish)
|My stained left hand|
|Elderberry Wine and Fuschias - a still life (with foot)|